Chinese electric-vehicle (EV) manufacturer Xpeng has announced that over 430,000 wrongfully taken photos of people in its showrooms have been deleted, having been given a RMB 100,000 ($15,706) fine for their collection in early December, reports Caixin. Xpeng admitted to “unfamiliarity with certain laws” and making incorrect decisions when buying equipment, while also saying that it collected the photos to better understand store traffic and improve its service.
“All the cameras had been already taken down even before the regulator’s inspection in March,” the company said, and this is why the penalty was “relatively small.”
The Shanghai-based EV maker has collected 431,623 facial photos without consent through 22 cameras installed in seven of its locations in the city from January to June this year, according to a statement from the market watchdog issued on December 3. That’s not allowed under China’s Consumer Protection Law. The law, which was amended in 2013, says retailers are required to inform customers and gain their consent before they collect or use their personal information.